Like it or not, hearing aids tend to cause a build-up of excess ear wax because in a healthy ear, the earwax being produced by the body naturally works its way towards the outer part of the ear where it falls out or can be wiped away. However, hearing aids prevent this occurrence and can result in a number of problems:
- Damage to the hearing aid itself as a result of wax contamination
- Issues with feedback (a whistling noise emitting from the hearing aid when in the ear) when the ear is blocked with wax
- The production of more earwax (the hearing aid insert sits where the wax glands lay in the ear canal, stimulating more production of wax)
- A reduction in hearing caused by a wax blockage
- An improperly fitting hearing aid due to excessive wax
Wax traps/guards and hearing aid domes may also become dislodged in the ear canal, worsening hearing and causing wax to build up around them.
Damage to the hearing aids happens as a result of the acidity of earwax, which if allowed to enter the hearing aid, can cause damage to the electronics. It has been estimated that between 60-70 per cent of devices returned to manufactures for repair have been damaged by ear wax contamination.
The Effect of Hearing Aids on Ear Wax
The presence of any foreign object in the ear stimulates extra wax production by the cerumen glands. The ear is engaged in a process of self-cleaning in response to the presence of the aid. But, because it is blocking airflow, the wax doesn’t dry out as it usually would so it won’t fall to the outer section of the ear.
How to Clear Wax Safely, Quickly & Painlessly
If you have hearing aids, you need to know how to clear wax from your ears. You should never try and do this yourself. Using cotton buds, fingers and anything else to dig and remove wax from the air is dangerous and only pushes the impaction further into the ear. Home remedies, like candles, are also dangerous.
It’s always best to leave the ear alone and let your ear go about its usual self-cleaning process. However if you wear hearing aids and wax builds up behind them, you need to know where to seek help.
The safest way to clear impacted ear wax is to visit a professional wax removal service, such as Ear Suction Hawkes Bay, for wax removal under direct observation. Anne, our registered nurse, uses a bright light combined with magnification to see into your ear canals, from the entrance all the way down to your eardrum, and she removes wax safely using a tiny vacuum cleaner without the need to touch your canal wall or eardrum. This gentle process is quick and effective and will have your hearing aids back to pre-wax, optimum functioning levels, click here to find out more about microsuction.
So How Does Earwax Removal Hope Your Hearing Aids Work Better?
Impacted ear wax is one of the leading causes of hearing loss. Your ears work by taking the sound from the outside world so they can be processed by the ear and interpreted by the brain as sound. If there is a build-up of ear wax, the sounds coming in are muffled or even completely silenced this process can’t take place.
Your hearing aid amplifies the sounds of the outside world, so a blockage in the ear by wax will affect its performance, as will a blockage within the hearing aid itself as a result of wax build-up in the ear canal. Many patients report an instant improvement in their hearing - with and without the hearing aid.